THE HUMAN HAIR FOLLICLE AND THYROID HORMONES

Written by Dana Trentini, May 26, 2020

I sat at the edge of my seat.

A shiver running through me.

The fistfuls of hair that once fell off my head.

The photos of bald women from thyroid followers over the years.

All flashed through my mind.

Convincing arguments that hair loss had nothing to do with thyroid disease.

It’s all in your head.

And yet I knew.

A whisper in my body told me that the connection was real.

Thankfully I listened to the warning bells in time to save my own hair.

And I hope other women hear them too.

And here before me. Right there. In front of me on the screen.

For the thyroid women with their spirits so low.

All because of the missing hair on their heads.

A woman’s hair is her crown and glory, after all.

It’s not all in your head.

It is not unrelated.

In 2008, researchers presented the very first evidence that human hair follicles are direct targets of thyroid hormones. Both insufficient and excess levels of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) modulate multiple hair biology parameters from hair follicle cycling to pigmentation.

Finally.

The proof.

The human hair follicle and thyroid hormones

Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini

One day my body suddenly broke from hypothyroidism. I clawed my way back to health by devouring the scientific literature. You see, I was once the team leader of an Ivy League professor’s research team with no clue then that those skills would one day save my life and that my site Hypothyroid Mom would spread across the internet like lightening. And then came the day to share all my other precious health nuggets and Yes! Healthier was born.

Please help spread the word (I appreciate every share!)

14 thoughts on “The Human Hair Follicle And Thyroid Hormones”

  1. I knew it was thyroid related, I never had problems with my hair before having a thyroidectomy. This disease has changed every single thing about me and not in a good way.

    1. Dana Trentini

      Hi Kerry, It is easy to begin thinking signs of poor thyroid health are all in your head when they may not be. Seeing real proof in the form of research like this is empowering. Welcome to my new website Yes Healthier. All the best, Dana Trentini

    2. Alesia Decker

      I feel the exact same way. I had gorgeous fine but thick hair with natural waves. I had a thyroidectomy in 2016 due to a multi-nodular goiter and my hair changed into “someone else’s hair. I also feel like shedding accelerated after adding T3 to my synthroid. Now i’m on Armour but i still think i lose to much hair. It’s so upsetting and so far no doctor seems to care.

      1. Dana Trentini

        Hi Alesia, Losing our hair is a tough symptom of hypothyroidism. I have heard from many Hypothyroid Mom followers that notice pronounced shedding with one or more thyroid medications. There are different fillers, binding agents, and dyes in the different brands of thyroid medication. It may be about trying another brand. Since your doctor is open to T3 and Armour hopefully they will be open to helping you try different ones to find the right match. For natural desiccated thyroid, there are other options including Nature-Thyroid, WP Thyroid, and NP Thyroid too. There is also the option of having NDT or T3 compounded specially without many fillers in it by a specialty compounding pharmacy by prescription. Wonderful to have you on my website. All the best, Dana Trentini

        1. Hi, Dana. Could you please address the problems that NDTs have been going through over the past couple years? Nature-throid and WP Thyroid were unavailable in early 2018, and when they returned they had significantly reduced potency. NP Thyroid became problematic around June 2019. At first people were noticing a diminished potency, but by August the batches were tainted with something that had a strong chemical odor and that made people very ill. All three brands continue to be ineffective, and NP Thyroid is still causing serious symptoms in patients who take it. RLC Labs and Acella have both reported sourcing the porcine thyroid powder from new manufacturers around the time the problems began. Armour is the only viable NDT left. This has been a very difficult time for those of us who depend on NDTs.

          1. Dana Trentini

            Hi Ana, It has been a very frustrating journey for all of us and every new formulation of different brands seems to come with its own complications. I remember back to around 2008 or 2009 when Armour reformulated. I had been doing wonderfully on it and then I started to notice my old thyroid symptoms and new strange symptoms appear with the new pills. Turned out there were new fillers and some of us were sensitive to those new ingredients including me. Yet others tell me they continue to love it. I was doing great on Nature-throid for years and went it went on backorder in 2018 I had a strange feeling that a new formulation would come out that wouldn’t agree with me just like my Armour saga so I made the decision to switch to a compounded prescription with porcine desiccated powder by a specialty compounding pharmacy and so far so good for me. It isn’t cheap and I have to pay for it out of pocket but it is worth it for now. I worried at the start of the pandemic that shortages in porcine thyroid glands for NDT products would become a problem. The truth is with every new formulation we are vulnerable to have issues with potency and/or sensitivities to new ingredients. It is a frustrating situation for those of us that rely on our medications to be well. I have decided for myself to continue paying out of pocket for my compounded medication but should problems arise with it for myself that I may switch to compounded synthetic T4 and T3 with a special request to my compounding pharmacist to use as few fillers as possible. I hear good things from followers also about the T4 product Tirosint. It is a liquid formula that seems to be more easily digested and absorbed and it contains fewer fillers than other brands. I’ve thought that an option for me would be a combination of Tirosint plus a compounded T3 and my doctor likes that approach too. It is not ideal because NDT is the perfect solution for my body as I know it is for many hypothyroid people, but I think if we can find a temporary solution that works well enough for our bodies until things get sorted out and potency issues get resolved then we can make clearer decisions. I know this answer is long and not the perfect answer that I wish that I could give but I hope it is helpful.

  2. I have been struggling we other thyroid problems for about 10 years now; 6 of them terrible. I was loosing everything but weight. I am controlling my weight now but lost a lot of hair. Is maybe not noticeable for people besides my hairstylist and me but is happening. What can I do? Do you have any advise? I am taking vitamins that help, I think, for loosing a lot more than what I am loosing; so not helping to get it back.

  3. I have Hashimoto’s and lost a large amount of hair in the beginning along with other symptoms my then doctors thought not to be true. In the last 6 years I have watched and helped one of my granddaughters go through Hashimotos with a goiter . Last year she had thyroidectomy. She is 13 now.

    1. Dana Trentini

      Wendy, I am sorry to hear about your granddaughter having to go through all this. How is she doing now since the thyroidectomy? All the best, Dana Trentini

  4. I knew it. My hair has not been the same since my thyroid problems kicked off. I’ve used to sport long luscious hair. Now it’s still long but ponytails, braids, buns etc have nearly no substance.

    1. Dana Trentini

      Hi Denise, It is very frustrating for sure when signs and symptoms are thought to be all in your head when you know your body better than anyone. You know when it is off and your hair is a barometer of your inner health. I hope this inspires you to investigate your thyroid more closely just in case it is the issue and I hope my website Hypothyroid Mom will be helpful to you as well: https://hypothyroidmom.com

  5. I’m so happy to find your new site! Congrats on your training and new direction. I found you several years ago and got help through a doctor in NYC, Dr Melnick, who was mentioned on your site. However, I’m having NDT problems and I’m so worried. Hair broke off mid shaft all over. I’m worried about the future and getting sufficient meds. It’s from switching from Armour to NP because of insurance. I’m going to read all your suggestions here and follow up. Thanx for your work!

    1. Dana Trentini

      Hi Amy, I’m happy your found a good thyroid doctor through my site. Dr. Melnick is great. You should let him know that your hair is reacting this way to NP. Our bodies react to the different ingredients in each brand and I wonder have you looked into the cost of paying for Armour out of pocket given that you were doing well on it. I ask because a few years back something similar happened to me with insurance and when I priced it out at the pharmacy it turned out to be well worth the extra money to pay to be well. If not, then other options are also available to discuss with him including compounded meds. Best, Dana

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